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Summary

Shortlisted for: International Author of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012

Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling experiences in the landscape of Gold Rush America. And they bicker a lot. Arriving in California, and discover that Warm has invented a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad....

©2011 Patrick deWitt (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favourite books list

OK you already know its a book about hired killers on a job and that it has some squeamish bits. This is not a familiar genre to me but what a wonderful listen this was. The Sister Brothers narrate and squabble through their journey using the sparse humour filled language familiar to brothers. It was so beautifully read that it was easy to feel like the third, silent brother. Similarly descriptions of the landscape were so sparse that my imagination muscles were exercised and looking back it is difficult to remember if parts were a book or a movie. The story always moves along with purpose and the unexpected turns are gentle and (generally) quite plausible, the characters are original and you just take them as they are for many have suddenly truncated lives. The brothers journey is ultimately to realise their own place in the scheme of things. Dammit, I miss them.

43 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Norfolk, United Kingdom
  • 15-12-11

If you like the Coen Brothers...

The description of this book put me in mind of a Coen brothers film, and I was not disappointed by the comparison. This is a great tale of two brothers, told from the point of view of Eli, the more thoughtful of the two. It's a wonderful description of a space in time where things were more simple: life in the American west during the gold-rush was about surviving rather than living, killing was as easy as eating, and basic needs of love and warmth are reflected on, but not prioritised. The language used is intricate and well-placed, and the plot full of action.

This was one of those books where I was so pleased that I listened to the performance, rather than reading it myself, as I could never have imagined the correct accent, tone and inflection that is so important in creating these characters, brilliant work from William Hope.

48 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

That title is genius.

Eli: sensitive, reflective, bungling. Charlie: dominant, calculating, ruthless. The two sisters brothers bicker their way to their latest assignment to kill a prospector in California Eli ponders the wisdom of keeping his horse, blind in one eye and Charlie constantly undermines his brother. Events however have a part to play in shaping the dynamics of their relationship. A western like you've never seen before. and yes very Coen brothers. The narrator captures the atmosphere beautifully: exceptional!!!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lee
  • LEICESTER, United Kingdom
  • 02-09-12

Pure Gold

Thought i'd try something a little different from my usual detective story,so glad i did.Wonderfull book.Found myself grinning and talking like a cowboy.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaggy
  • United Kingdom
  • 30-06-15

How the West was run

The Sister's brothers are a pair of ruthless assassins on a mission to kill. They roam the old Wild West encountering a strange and fascinating mix of characters and committing random acts of violence when the mood takes them.. Despite their psychopathic tendencies there is something comical and almost loveable in the way they constantly bicker and undermine each other. Eli is the underdog and the narrator of the story and his description of their final adventure and his relationship with his poor old horse Tub is almost magical. There is no doubt that there are some parts that are utterly horrible but I couldn't help thinking that this is a reasonably accurate reflection of what the Wild West was all about.

Almost as soon as I started listening to this I realised I was in for a real treat and I certainly wasn't let down. I agree with other reviewers who say this is a bit like a Coen brothers film and if you are a fan of their films then you will love this.

The reader conveys the conversations between the brothers brilliantly. I obtained this on the recommendation of other reviewers and am very grateful for their excellent taste.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • FAREHAM, United Kingdom
  • 02-04-12

Like listening to a Coen brothers film

As the title says, very much like listening to a Coen brothers film; if you like their films, you will love this. Be warned, there are some fairly gruesome bits.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A thinking listener's Western

The Sisters Brothers are killers and expert with their guns. Not my normal Audible fare but other reviews made me try it and I'm delighted I did. Eli the narrator is a totally credible character - overweight, desperate for love, caring of his horses and painfully aware of what he is. Charlie his elder brother is more your typical gunfighter but even he is capable of thoughtful discussions with Eli. Their escapades on the trail of a gold prospector in California are engrossing and vivid and manage to avoid all the usual Western cliches: the gunfights are necessary evils on their way but not the main events which are far more intriguing. The pivotal scenes on a remote river will stay with me for a long time. The narrator is excellent and brings the characters to life very well. Even if you hate Westerns, this is definitely worth a listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • janine
  • Weymouth, United Kingdom
  • 25-04-12

the sister brothers

kept me going all through the long drive from spain to england. Great story - loved it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • Peterborough, United Kingdom
  • 05-02-12

Loved it but not for the squeamish horse lover!!!

Yes, I am a horse lover and found some of the book a bit hard to listen to/read so without adding spoilers I'll not go into what happens. Suffice to say though it is an integral part of the book and also makes for a moving conclusion too.
I laughed out loud and I cried too, you are on a roller-coaster of emotion when listening to this brilliantly narrated story, William Hope is a real gem and characterises beautifully which for me totally made the book for me. Bravo to all concerned!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric and nicely paced

Not a shoot em up type of western at all - but very well done and paced with great characters.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • katrina
  • 29-07-12

Engaging and entertaining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is an interesting interpretation of the Western genre, set in Oregon and California during the gold rush. I found the story compelling and the reader really gave the characters depth.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eli, the narrator. He was sympathetic while being flawed.

What about William Hope???s performance did you like?

He did a wonderful job of interpreting the different characters through nuances of speech.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eoin
  • 05-11-12

Brilliant Performance by William Hope

This was recommended to me by someone to whom I'll be returning for more advice! It's a darkly humorous take of fraternal assassins in the old west, and chronicles their journey to their latest quarry in gold-rush California. Sometimes strange, but not in an inaccessible way - think more Coen Brothers than David Lynch.

William Hope's modes of speech are superbly evocative; and should be award-winning if there is any justice. Just a brilliant listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • emilie
  • 08-10-12

brilliant

Would you consider the audio edition of The Sisters Brothers to be better than the print version?

It's on par, I would say.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a gripping, stylish, fabulously told tale. I found it intelligent and exciting. The narration I thought was perfect.

Have you listened to any of William Hope’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no, I have not.

If you could take any character from The Sisters Brothers out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would take out Eli.

Any additional comments?

I found the narration addictive and started to think like the characters in the tale.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • 24-09-12

Good story, great narrator.

This story was only ok for me. Had been recommendedto me by a friend. If I was reading the book I might have just put it down but the narrator pulled me through so I ended up rating it a 3 star.